Looking for a Mexican side dish that’s ready in a pinch and can be made ahead? Look no further than these Healthy Refried Black Beans with Chile and Lime!
Not sure if it was Cinco De Mayo or the fact that I’ll be heading out for a trip to TX soon, but Mexican flavors have just sounded really good lately! Up until this year, the blog has been lacking in the Mexican food department. I really wanted to make some approachable, healthy, and super tasty main dish options. Now that there are several of those, I need to add some sides to the mix! And nothing could be more simple to make, fast, and affordable than these Healthy Refried Black Beans with Chile and Lime.
How to Make Healthy Refried Black Beans
Seriously though, y’all are going to LOVE how easy this is:
- Toast some minced garlic and chile powder in a little bit of oil – the heat will bring the natural oils from the garlic and chile powder out, causing the flavors to become vibrant and aromatic. I like to use smokey ancho chile powder in this recipe, but ground chipotle chile pepper or smoked paprika would also work.
- Add a can of black beans – just a good ol’ can of beans! I like to buy the no salt added since the juices are not drained in this recipe. You can always add more salt if needed!
- Mash away – mashing the beans into the oil and spices gives them the creamy refried texture we all know and love. I just mash mine with the back of a wooden spoon, but a potato masher would work great too. Mash until your heart is content – I like to leave a few whole to partially-mashed beans in the mix for some texture.
- Enhance the flavors with lime juice + zest – adding the citrus off of the heat will keep the flavor bright and vibrant. You may notice that having fresh lime juice in the dish lessons the need to add extra salt, which can be helpful!
- Top with a bit of cotija – I looooove cotija cheese. Speaking of salt, this cheese has a nice saltiness to it. Sprinkling a bit on top of the finished beans adds some color and a little something special.
Refried Black Beans Modifcations
- Add some heat – feel free to add a pinch of cayenne, some minced jalapenos, or a few splashes of your favorite Mexican hot sauce to make these spicy.
- Add more aromatics – you could also add some caramelized onions or minced onions to the dish. I would saute these before you add the beans to the skillet.
- Change up the spices – cumin and ancho chile powder are more traditional, but you could add some Mexican oregano, coriander, and then finish the dish with fresh cilantro (which, sadly, I’m not a fan of).
- Use them as a filling – I love to use these as a creamy filling for enchiladas and burritios!
- Spread them on tostadas – yum!
- Serve them as a dip – these are the perfect consistency for dipping chips, veggie sticks, or quesedilla wedges into.
- Make a big batch and freeze some for later – these freeze REALLY well! Just cool completely before freezing in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
What to Pair with Refried Black Beans
To make your Mexican fiesta complete, try pairing these beans with any of the following recipes:
- Mango Mojo Chicken Tacos
- Weeknight Chicken Tostadas
- Chopped Mexican Kale Salad
- Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Chile Citrus Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
- Roasted Plantains
Are you ready to try these Refried Black Beans with Chile and Lime? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Refried Black Beans with Chile and Lime
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (such as grapeseed, canola, avocado)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon chile powder, preferably ancho
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can low-sodium or no salt added black beans (do not drain the juices)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
- Cotija cheese, for topping
- Place a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the oil, followed by the minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the can off black beans, including the juices, and cook for 10 minutes, simmering and stirring occasionally to heat through.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash the beans into the juices. Continue to smash until the mixture becomes creamy, with some beans remaining whole or partially broken. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, pepper, lime zest and juice. Transfer to a bowl, top with cotija cheese, and serve immediately.
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